MSI's Black Creativity program celebrates African American innovation

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Museum of Science and Industry is celebrating Black History Month in a creative fashion.

Students from Emmett Till Elementary in Woodlawn spent the morning working on the next great invention during their field trip to the Innovation Studio at the Museum of Science and Industry, where they made creations from everyday materials.

Thirteen-year-old Kashanay Jones decided to make a clock.

"You know how clocks go off with an alarm? I basically put these nails on top of my clock to make it look like the ringer on an alarm," Kashanay said.

It was just one stop on their tour of the museum's Black Creativity program, which celebrates the scientific breakthroughs and creative works of African Americans. The hands on aspect of the exhibit is meant to spark interest in innovation.

"It's the process, the way we facilitate, the way we introduce it and the way we guide them through that process leads them to use their inherent knowledge to come up with their own unique solutions to a multitude of different projects," said Manny Juarez, of the Museum of Science and Industry.

The Black Creativity Program also highlights local innovators. The most notable attraction is the art exhibit that's going on its 50th year at the museum. The features are meant to be empowering to young people, who may discover a talent for creating something new.

"I didn't think I could do what I did. But now that I know I can do it, I'll try to do it again sometime," student La Kena Matthews said.

With it being free of charge most of February for Illinois residents, there's no excuse not to come to the museum to check out the Black Creativity program. While you're here, make sure you also visit the longest-running gallery of African American art, which will be here through February 24.
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